Earlier this week, Kim Kardashian launched a new, YEEZY-esque shapewear line called Kimono. But having taken the name from traditional Japanese dress, plenty of people have voiced their displeasure at Kardashian’s choice of brand name. So much so, it’s sparked the hashtag #KimOhNo.
Supposedly the brand name is a riff on the entrepreneur’s name, but it has sparked controversy in Japan in particular, where people are calling Kardashian out for disrespecting the country’s national dress. In a conversation with the BBC, a Japanese woman called Yuka Ohishi explained, “We wear kimonos to celebrate health, growth of children, engagements, marriages, graduations, at funerals. It’s celebratory wear and passed on in families through the generations.”
Ohishi added that nothing in Kardashian’s collection resembles the garment. “She just chose a word that has ‘Kim’ in it — there’s no respect to what the garment actually means in our culture,” Ohishi said.
Now, even the mayor of Kyoto has pleaded with the entrepreneur to reconsider, writing in an official statement, “I am writing this letter to convey our thoughts on Kimono and ask you to reconsider your decision of using the name Kimono in your trademark. Kimono is a traditional ethnic dress fostered in our rich nature and history with our predecessors’ tireless endeavors and studies, and it is a culture that has been cherished and passed down with care in our living.” The statement continues, “We think that the names for ‘Kimono’ are the asset shared with all humanity who love Kimono and its culture therefore they should not be monopolized.”
Find out what others online are saying about Kimono below.